Palak Paneer (Spinach with cottage cheese) has always been a standard fare in Indian restaurant buffets in US. Some of these restaurants make this curry spectacularly well while some smother it with so much cream that you can’t taste any spinach / palak at all. My version does not use cream at all but IMHO still tastes just like the original without the extra calories. Like most of my recipes, this one is simplified too by the use of pressure cooker. Palak Paneer pairs well with ghee smeared Rotis.
- 2 cups cut spinach / palak
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, finely cut
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon, grated ginger
- salt to taste
- 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin (jeera) powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander (dhania) powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 1/2 cup water
- 350 grams or 12 oz paneer cut into cubes [ If frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight]
- Pressure cook spinach with 1/2 a cup of water on medium heat. Switch off the gas when the vent goes off once. Let the cooker cool down a bit (at least 10-15 minutes) before opening the lid.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a wok or a kadhai kept on medium heat. Add onions and fry them till they are soft and translucent. Add salt, garlic and ginger and fry them for couple of minutes before adding tomatoes.
- Fry the tomatoes till they are soft and mushy and oil starts to separate out. Meanwhile, the spinach of the cooker would have cooled down. Transfer the spinach to a blender and coarsely grind the spinach mixture. Add the ground spinach along with the coriander and cumin powder to the onion and tomato mixture. Stir well and let it cook for 5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat and add sugar (if using). Mix well.
- Gently place the paneer in the gravy and spoon over the gravy on it.
- Simmer the gravy for 5-10 minutes.
- Take it off heat and serve hot with Rotis or Rice.